Australians are being reminded of the important role pharmacists play in the early detection of bowel cancer as part of Red Apple Day (17 June).
Red Apple Day is hosted every third Wednesday in June and encourages Australians to support the vital work of Bowel Cancer Australia by buying awareness ribbons and apple themed fundraising activities.
Bowel Cancer Australia says pharmacists can help make a difference in early detection of bowel cancer by talking to their customers as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month and Red Apple Day.
Almost 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and is the second most common cause of cancer deaths. But 90 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated if detected early.
While bowel cancer affects men and women of all ages, medical guidelines recommend screening for bowel cancer every 1-2 years from age 50 as this is when the risk increases significantly.
Bowel Cancer Australia Chief Executive Julien Wiggins said pharmacists have a key role both in general awareness of bowel cancer and making screening available to anyone who wants to screen.
“We know pharmacists are seen as trusted health professionals and being so accessible to the community, they are well positioned to educate people about bowel cancer symptoms, risk factors and screening options,” he said.
“Pharmacies providing the BowelScreen Australia® program make screening available all year round.
“Bowel Cancer Australia continues to enjoy a strong relationship with pharmacists and we really appreciate the support they provide for our major campaigns, especially Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.”
Visit the Red Apple Day website to find out more about Awareness Ribbons and apple themed fundraising activities.
Bowel Cancer: Know The Facts
Bowel Cancer is the second biggest cancer killer with Australia having one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.
Some of the symptoms of bowel cancer include:
- Blood in the bowel movement;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Persistent change in bowel habit;
- Severe abdominal pain.
Red Apple Day have plenty of helpful information and resources on bowel cancer and what to look for.